Conversations That Count: Facing Our Fears


Competency Development in an Uncertain World

This blog post comes from Nannette Naught, Senior Consultant at Innovative

Those who know me, know I am a “cowgirl up” and “get ‘er done” kind of girl. Horse buck you off? No time like the present to take stock of the situation in which you find yourself, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and figure out how to peacefully move forward together — horse, rider, and any friends you happen to have brought along for the ride.

And what a ride library is on at the moment,

  • From platform choice to the partnerships and alliances we make with faculty, funders, and vendors, the choices we make today determine the options, costs, and associated happiness or heartbreaks we’ll experience tomorrow. Money and friends really do change everything.
  • From fear of impending irrelevance to frustration with the slow pace of change — it really is time to quit listening to the naysayers and would be competitors, and start leading. The actions we take today make or break the opportunities we’ll enjoy tomorrow.
  • From the promise of linked data to the power of embedded librarianship — we really are amidst constant change. The perspectives we change today, define the strategies, services, and associated successes or failures we’ll realize tomorrow.

So where do we go from here? If my life riding horses — aka coaxing a 800+ lb animal up a mountainside filled with unknown, scary things, using only a couple pieces of leather, confidence, and a favorite trail guide — has taught me anything, it’s this:

To change your horse, you must first change yourself.
‒ Clinton Anderson (favored guide)


And changing myself is hard! It requires me to set aside fear and separate fact from fiction. It requires me to thoroughly understand the world as my horse sees it — from a fundamentally different perspective than mine, both biologically (horses have dichromatic, non-stereoscopic vision) and culturally (horses are prey animals, not predators). It requires me to expend money, time, and effort growing myself before I grow my horse. So I don’t handicap him with my misgivings and misunderstandings. So that I am worthy and capable of the trust he places in me, as his guide up that mountainside.

Thankfully, my colleagues in management here at Innovative, feel similarly. They too believe that as your library success partner, we, like you, must:

“Go beyond the ILS” to help you and your library acquire not just a system, but the business and technical skill sets you need to successfully complete this ride. Which is why I’m so happy to announce our new Bootcamps series of affordable, down-to-earth skills training for practicing professionals designed to prepare you to fulfill the new roles management expects you to perform, including: Knowledge & IP Lifecycle Administration; The Business of Library; Modern Metadata Management; and Content Creation, Distribution, and Stewardship.

“Walk the talk” to help you and your library step outside the hype cycle and seize real moments of opportunity, free of charge! Which is why, I am beyond excited, to announce our new monthly Hot Topics webinars — complementary modern competency development on a schedule that works for you with your workload. Starting next week with August’s Usability Basics taught by User Experience Librarian, Rebecca Blakiston. Continuing this fall with three more, expert taught sessions: Engagement Basics, Digital Literacy Basics, and Project Management Basics.


So how about it? Been sitting on the ground, in the dirt long enough? Ready to move forward peacefully and productively? Join me and my friends here at Innovative, and let’s work together to change ourselves, so we can help library change the world.

Want to read a bit more about:

Platform choice and partnerships? Check out my June 7th blog, Money & Friends Change Everything.

The possibility of impending irrelevance and my frustration with the slow pace of change? Take a look at my June 21st blog, Quit Listening, Start Leading.

The reality of constant change? Check out my July 13th blog, Amidst not Betwixt.